6 postcards, 6 stormy seas, 2 Germans, 2 countries, 1 city, 1 girl, 1 boy, 1 war
One hundred and eight years after they were written, six postcards where found amongst a discarded collection. From these objects of memory, undeclared love and many an unspoken word are revealed at a time of great uncertainty when people’s lives were on the brink of war and would change forever.
In 1906 Hänschen, a German piano maker, who worked for Allison Pianos in North West London, fell in love with his German employer’s daughter, Nanetta. In 1914 World War One broke out. Nothing is known of Hänschen, but two years after the last postcard, in 1908, Nanetta, pregnant and single was shamed into marriage, to a man who would later abandon her with two little girls.
With neither sender nor receiver no longer here to put meaning to time and place of text and image, Troubled Sea speaks of people forgotten. Postcards are the sound bites or snapshots of the written language. Though postcards communicate, they do not speak a language of depth to perhaps anyone but the writer or recipient. However, when interlaced with imagery, the fragmented text takes on new and convoluted meanings with only our imagination to cap its possibilities.